Damning report

Independent garages 'third most complained about sector'

Published:  25 April, 2013

A REPORT based on calls to a consumer advice line has shown independent garages are still one of the most complained about industries in the UK.

The Citizens Advice Bureau's (CAB) Consumer Line has recorded almost 11,500 complaints about independent garages over the past year. This puts the sector high on the list, with only used car dealers and mobile phone contracts in front.

The CAB says the figures are directly from the number of calls it has received. However, the RMI's Independent Garage Association Director, Stuart James, commented: "The IGA is extremely concerned that the figures produced by Citizens Advice do not accurately represent the independent garage sector and we welcome the opportunity to work with them to address the genuine issues."

He added: "All of our IGA members adhere to a strict code of conduct to ensure they offer the very best service to their customers on a daily basis."

A spokesperson from Citizens Advice Bureau said: "Our data is based on complaints made to the CAB consumer service between April 2012 and February 2013.  We do work with businesses and industry bodies to help them treat consumers fairly and would be happy to discuss our findings with the Independent Garage Association."

Briefly, the CAB's results contained the following information:

Complaints about used cars:

45,425 bought from an independent dealer (of which 34,412 were about the car being faulty)

7,510 bought from a franchise dealer (of which 5,394 were about the car being faulty)

4,493 bought from a private seller (of which 2,577 were about the car being faulty)

Complaints about car repairs:

11,437 complaints about repairs by an independent garage (of which 8,352 were about substandard services)

2,597 complaints about repairs by a franchise garage/dealership (1,888) were about substandard services)

348 about mobile repairs (212 about substandard services)

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